Official community plan assessment in measuring the welcoming capacities of non-urban communities in British Columbia

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Frimpong, Evans Ababio
Immigration in Canada is an urban phenomenon. The purpose of this study is to identify if non-urban communities are open or closed to new immigrants at a policy level and explore the local government's possible roles in immigrant attraction and retention. Relevant literature was reviewed. Through snowball sampling, 15 non-urban communities were selected for their Official Community Plans to be analyzed by searching for specific keywords (diversity, inclusion, equity, immigrant, population decline, population growth,) which may signal that the community is open and welcoming to new immigrants and have a desire to increase or stabilize population. Five urban communities which are known to experience high influx of new immigrants were selected to serve as comparators to the non-urban communities and find out the difference in policy environments regarding immigrant settlement and population growth or stability in their OCPs. The findings of this research present recommendations for non-urban communities on how they can attract and retain new immigrants. This project functions as reminder to the local government on their possible roles in immigrant attraction, settlement and retention.
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